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For previous years’ media releases, please visit the Media release archive.

Christmas hours and emergency contacts

December 21, 2018

The Plant Health Australia (PHA) office will be closed from the afternoon of Friday 21 December 2018 until Wednesday 2 January 2019.

The Board and staff of PHA wish you all a happy Christmas and a safe holiday season.

In the event of an emergency plant pest incident or for any other urgent matters, please contact:

Greg Fraser, Executive Director and CEO, 0419 503 315 or More

Exercise Bee Prepared

December 19, 2018

The Australian and state governments and the beekeeping industry participated in Exercise Bee Prepared this year to improve their readiness to respond to a detection of varroa mite (Varroa destructor).

For the exercise, Plant Health Australia facilitated a series of activities and discussion workshops to test the response to a detection of this serious pest of honey bees. More

Results from PHA member survey

December 7, 2018

The Board and staff of Plant Health Australia (PHA) would like to thank all members who took the time to complete our survey, in which they were asked to rate the performance of PHA programs, communication activities and other initiatives.

The online survey and several in depth interviews were done in mid-2018, following up on previous surveys in 2015 and 2012. More

Exercise Fastidious a success

December 7, 2018

Exercise Fastidious was held in Brisbane on 14-15 November 2018. There were 59 attendees from 29 organisations: the Australian Government, all state and territory governments, 13 plant peak industry bodies, PHA, Hort Innovation, CSIRO and representatives from New Zealand government and industries. More

Establishing risk-based surveillance for exotic forest pests

December 6, 2018

Identifying potentially high-risk sites for entry and establishment of exotic forest pests is underway through a pilot national forest pest surveillance program.

Forest Biosecurity Coordinator, Paco Tovar, says that there are pilot projects running in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. More

Role changes on the PHA Board

December 3, 2018

Plant Health Australia announces changes to the roles of some Board members following annual meetings in Canberra last week.

Liz Alexander has been appointed as Deputy Chair. Liz, who has been on the PHA Board for five years, is the Agribusiness Development Coordinator for the Central Highlands Development Corporation in Emerald, Queensland. More

National simulation exercise for Xylella

November 14, 2018

Exercise Fastidious has begun in Brisbane today (14 November 2018). The exercise, funded by Hort Innovation, will test the response to the detection of Xylella fastidiosa, with a focus on the production nursery sector.

Participants will be asked to consider the technical feasibility eradication, complexes (e.g. More

Workshops to prepare for spotted wing drosophila

November 9, 2018

Growers, agronomists, extension professionals and international researchers gathered at a recent series of workshops to improve preparedness for a high priority exotic fly pest, spotted wing drosophila.

Plant Health Australia, CESAR and Plant & Food Research New Zealand are working together on a Hort Innovation funded project to improve the preparedness of horticultural industries for the exotic fly. More

Plant pest surveillance in botanic gardens

November 9, 2018

At the end of October, Plant Health Australia’s Executive Director and CEO, Greg Fraser, and other staff spent two days in Melbourne facilitating a workshop for a project to develop a plant pest surveillance network in Australia’s botanic gardens and arboreta. More

Meetings on forestry biosecurity

October 2, 2018

There were three events related to forest biosecurity in August and September 2018. They were:

  • Environment and Invasives Committee, Perth on 15 August 2018
  • Forest Health and Biosecurity R&D Workshop, Melbourne on 29-30 August 2018
  • Biosecurity for Healthy Forests Session, Canberra on 5 September.